Sunday, March 20, 2011

I'm a Baby Follow-Up

Book: I’m a Baby, You’re a Baby by Lisa Kopper
Puppets: 3-5 animal pairs (one big, one small)
Presenters: 1
Audience: Toddler Time (1 and 2 year olds)

Here’s a nice simple book to do with a puppet Follow-Up in a Toddler Time. The book has simple, bright pictures of babies and animals, plus the catchy title refrain. And some vocabulary, as it provides the names of baby animals. Not that a one or two year old needs to know "foal," but it’s a good book for calling attention to the way picture books build vocabulary.

The Follow-Up just requires puppet pairs, with one big and one small. After reading the book, I say: “Now let’s see if we can name the babies of some other animals that I have in my bag.” So you can pop out the grown-up, make its animal sound, then pop out the baby and give the name. I didn’t have big-little puppet combos for all, but beanie babies or even juggling penguin beanbags work fine. And if the snowy owl parent has a barn owl baby, we just don't worry about it.

For a Follow-Up like this I only need a handful of examples. It reinforces the concept and pattern of the book, plus the visual impact of the puppets captures most of the toddlers’ attention, which is one reason I usually place these midway through the program, just in case I’m losing too many by then. It also models book follow up ideas for the grown-ups; they may not have puppets, but can do the same thing with pictures, stuffed animals, or even just with words.

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